Kenojuak Ashevak ᑭᓄᔭᐊ ᐊᓯᕗ, CC, RCA (1927-2013)
Private Collection, Vermont, USA
Renowned for her images of birds, it is the owl for which Kenojuak is best known. Her celebrated “Enchanted Owl” has been the most famous and recognizable image in the Inuit art canon for decades, also holding the distinction of being the most expensive Inuit print ever sold at auction.
Owls never ceased to interest Kenojuak, who used them as a subject for over 100 different prints as well as original drawings. Her fantastical owls could be audacious, festive, preening, and often surrounded by brightly-hued plumage. Beginning in the early 1960s, Kenojuak introduced foliage to enhance her avian images, as seen here. In “Summer Owl,” the artist’s signature symmetrical composition is on display,
both energetic and harmonious. For Kenojuak, form always took precedence, though she often explained that her main objective as an artist was to inspire happiness in her viewers—mission accomplished with this radiant print.